Author Archives: Jamie

Historic City of Mineral Water sign being restored by new building owners

Craig and Mary Fenneman, new owners of the Union Block building at 10 E. Morgan St., have contracted with a sign specialist to renovate the iconic City of Mineral Water sign.  What a transformation! The original steel letters were wire-brushed and cleaned before the application of three coats of paint.  The framework will be cleaned and painted black and LED lighting has been added.  Check back for details on a lighting celebration, coming soon!

Did you know?

Courtesy of Joanne Stuttgen

How old is the Martinsville City of Mineral Water sign?

Prior to its relighting on October 4, 2003, I researched the sign but could not come up with the date it was erected. I’ve since narrowed the time period to between the last half of 1929 and 1938. The sign does not appear in a photo of a G. A. R. parade taken in June 1929. The letters were made by Martinsville tinsmith W. R. Davis, who died in 1938. So, we have a roughly 9-year window of time in which the sign appeared. The only way to narrow the gap—and ideally to find the very date—is to scroll through nine years of microfilmed daily newspapers. I intend to do this this winter.

In 2003, Margaret Sedwick, who died in 2007 when she was nearly 100, and whose memory was seemingly infallible, told me she believed the sign was connected to one of the 3 state basketball championships won by Martinsville (1924, 1927, 1933). Margaret believed the sign was made because “the team was the Artesians” and thought it was “backed” by sanitarium owners. Because the first two championships occurred prior to the 9-year time period, I focused on the 1933 championship. I searched the 1933 newspaper and found nothing at all about the sign.

Margaret recalled that the sign glowed like electric lights, “like it was white”. She described the lights as “floodlight-type bulbs.” She remembered driving into Martinsville, up Main Street from the south, and seeing the sign through the trees. “I always thought it was light bulbs on a frame,” she said. This puzzles me because the letters as they appear through a telephoto lens appear to have been made to receive neon tubes, not incandescent light bulbs. The non tubes are now being replaced with LED.

According to Margaret, the sign “was supposed to have” blown down once and been put back up. She also remembered that when Charles Buskirk operated an appliance store in the building (1953-1979), he disconnected the sign because it interfered with televisions and appliances. This may have been in the 1960s, according to Elmer Reynolds in a 2002 newspaper article. The sign was operational for a short time in the 1980s until damaged by vandals. It remained dark until October 4, 2003, and went dark again within about six months.


Let us know what you want to see in our Martinsville park properties!

Martinsville 5 Year Parks Master Plan Project Summary
The City is creating a vision for the future of Martinsville Parks and Recreation. We will be looking for your input on the current and future needs for programs, parks, amenities, and facilities in Martinsville.

Please take the online survey and join us at the workshop to share ideas and brainstorm with members of the community. We are listening – your participation and input are critical to the success of this initiative.

Take the survey here.


Martinsville, Ind. – October 25, 2017 – An isolated structural issue on an exterior column on the south exterior wall of the Kivett building at 110 North Main Street has resulted in construction work being stopped on the building while the issue is being evaluated by the contractor and City staff.

According to Public Works Director Craig DeMott, the contractor has provided temporary shoring to secure the building and the issue is being monitored daily.

“As with all projects, safety is an absolute must. We are working closely with the contractor to ensure the company provides an acceptable solution allowing for safe working conditions for those in and around the building and protection for the public. To ensure everyone remains safe, we have red tagged the building with a stop work order effective today.

“The order will remain until the contractor or building owner meets the requirements of the order which includes receipt of plans by our Building and Planning Department that are prepared and certified by a professional engineer as well as proof the structural modifications have been submitted to the Department of Homeland Security,” DeMott said. “The plans shall include, but not be limited to permanent repair, shoring and stabilization of the building.”

As a precautionary measure, Morgan Street from Mulberry Street to Main Street has been closed for the past several days.

The former Kivett’s Five and Dime building is one of three historic structures in downtown Martinsville that will be adapted into The Retreat at Mineral Springs, a multi-million development for residents 55 years and older that is a collaborative effort between the City of Martinsville, Flaherty & Collins Properties and the Community Service Center of Morgan County.

Hoosier Astronaut David Wolf Joins Link Observatory Space Science Institute

Morgan County, IN – Link Observatory Space Science Institute announced today that Indiana native David Wolf- electrical engineer, medical doctor, and astronaut – will join its staff as Chief Science Officer effective January 1, 2018.

“We are thrilled to have Indiana’s own Astronaut Dr. David Wolf join our team,” said Greg McCauley, Executive Director of Link Observatory Space Science Institute. “His experience, talent, knowledge, and guidance will help propel Link Observatory Space Science Institute and Indiana students to the forefront of STEM education in the country, and catapult us towards our goal of Indiana becoming the epicenter of the burgeoning space industry.”

Dr. Wolf graduated from North Central High School in Indianapolis and earned a degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. He later earned a medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. At the same time, Dr. Wolf became a flight surgeon with the United States Air Force. He later investigated the physiological effects of microgravity while on staff at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

He has traveled to space four times, including three Space Shuttle missions and a mission aboard the Russian space station Mir. Dr. Wolf has logged more than 4,040 hours in space and has completed seven spacewalks in both Russian and American spacesuits. He helped draft and was also present at the signing of the Executive Order reestablishing the National Space Council this summer. This Council will bring both military and civilian government space programs closer together. Vice President Mike Pence is its chairperson and is the president’s chief adviser on national space policy.

Dr. David Wolf

“David’s awards and honors are almost too numerous to mention,” said McCauley. “But to name a few, NASA awarded him the Exception Engineering Achievement Medal in 1990 and Inventor of the Year in 1992. He has received 15 U.S. patents and over 20 Space Act Awards primarily for three-dimensional tissue engineering technologies. David has also published over 40 technical papers.”

“I am thrilled to be joining Link Observatory Space Science Institute,” said Dr. Wolf. “The core of ‘Innovation’ lies near a passion to see beyond ‘The Box’ and the ‘Inspiration’ to go further, discover, and prove we are truly without limits. Our view of the heavens reveals ‘No Box’ and the ‘Return on Inspiration’ is similarly limitless. Our ‘Viewport to The Universe’ will ignite the imaginations of our youth, unleashing the power of the heavens through their imaginations.”

Dr. Wolf will work with the Institute on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational programming, public engagement and fundraising. He will officially start in his position on January 1, 2018, and will be transitioning over during the next few months. For more information about Astronaut David Wolf, please visit

For more information about the Link Observatory Space Science Institute, contact Kurt Williams, Deputy Director/COO, at


About Link Observatory Space Science Institute
The Link Observatory Space Science Institute’s mission is to advance scholastic literacy of future generations with informal STEM education focused on NASA missions, astronomy, and space exploration; and to foster scientific curiosity and advance science literacy to cultivate and nurture the next generation of leaders. Join us as we share the wonders of the universe.



Martinsville, Ind. – October 10, 2017 – Every item within the Kohl administration’s 200-Day Plan has either been completed or is in the works at the conclusion of the plan’s timeframe October 5, Mayor Shannon Kohl announced.

“Thanks to the hard work and team work of our City staff, combined with the partnership of our City Council and the involvement by so many caring residents, we have had a very busy, productive past 200 days. We kicked off our plan shortly after my March 14 State of the City presentation when I outlined our ambitious agenda for numerous initiatives within our five Buildings Blocks: Safety, Neighborhoods, Economic Development, Communications and Citizen Voice.

“While we have achieved a great deal since March, we have much more progress to make for Martinsville to become a strong, appealing and vibrant home for residents of all ages and business of all types. With so many exciting initiatives underway and so much promise ahead of us, it’s time to take our activities to the next level in many ways.

“I look forward to outlining our next level approach and new initiatives in my 2018 State of the City. In the meantime, our City team will continue working hard on behalf of the residents and corporate citizens we proudly serve,” Kohl said.

Below is a snapshot of the success and progress achieved within each Building Block:


  • Neighborhood Crime Watch is in play with significant citizen involvement to establish crime watch neighborhoods and citizen volunteers
  • ongoing firefighter training exercises include rescue scenarios and education
  • the resurrected DARE program is in its second year with Martinsville Community Schools
  • active shooter drill with area law enforcement agencies was conducted in July at Tabernacle Christian School
  • Operation Sheepdog drug stings and saturated patrols continue
  • K9 Edo joined the Police Department, giving each shift a canine officer
  • firefighters will host annual Customer Appreciation Day during the Fall Foliage Festival


  • Beautify Martinsville Days and Weeks have involved many volunteers cleaning up various areas of the community
  • annual strategic paving program has been created with Martinsville recently being awarded a $343,000 matching grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation to improve numerous roads and streets throughout the City; roads needing to be paved in 2018 already have been identified
  • City’s Unsafe Building and Hearing Authority is very active addressing structurally impaired buildings and hazardous homes
  • code enforcement efforts have been ramped up addressing improperly registered vehicles, trash and other ordinance violations
  • work has begun to address facility needs for the aging City Hall, Street and Water Departments
  • quarterly bulk trash collection continues
  • City pool functioned smoothly throughout the summer season
  • tennis courts in Jimmy Nash City Park have been converted to green space, with improvements being made to the Parks’ maintenance building, shelters #2 and #6
  • planning has begun for a future dog park

Economic Development

  • City’s partnership with the Morgan County Economic Development Corporation continues to attract new businesses while retaining jobs; creation of a community advisory board focused on business development and revitalization will work in tandem with the Morgan County EDC
  • work continues to ensure Martinsville is well-positioned to benefit from the I-69 project with well-planned, controlled community growth
  • work is ongoing to create tax incentives as economic development tools as well as a five and ten-year Capital Improvement Plan for strategic purchases of needed equipment and assets


  • City’s new Web site is under professional review with launch plans to be announced soon
  • comprehensive communication initiatives continue with mayoral messages, special events, news releases, social media activity
  • juvenile law enforcement instructional academy for MHS juniors and seniors interested in law enforcement careers is underway, thanks to a dual credit partnership with Vincennes University, Martinsville Community Schools and our police officers
  • a second citizens police academy recently was completed
  • various Police Community Awareness Nights are underway for community members to meet with police officers in informal settings

Citizens Voice

  • Mayor’s Youth Council meets regularly during the school year to help MHS students learn more about municipal government activities and provide great ideas for the improvement of Martinsville
  • expansion of Mayor’s special recognition spotlight on community’s veterans, including an upcoming fall breakfast in their honor.


September Chamber Luncheon presentation highlights small business resources

Thank you to Steve Bryant, Regional Director at South Central Small Business Development Center and the Executive Director for the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington for a valuable presentation on the many available resources for our local entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Kudos to Ralph and Ava’s Cafe and Catering for a delicious lunch and their continuing support of the Martinsville Chamber. A grateful shout out to our generous door prize donors: Berries & Ivy, Indiana Family Chiropractic Center, South Central Indiana REMC, Waldon IT Solutions and WCBK 102.3 FM.

Country View has apartments available

Country View Apartments…
Modern Country Living in Martinsville!!!

If where you live is important… Country View Apartments is the answer to your housing needs!

Our community offers beautifully landscaped grounds, brick/vinyl exteriors, and newly remodeled interiors in a quiet country setting… within only a mile or two of all the shopping and restaurants along Rt. 37.

We offer exceptionally designed 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments that offer space to stretch out and enjoy. Modern conveniences such as frost-free refrigerators, garbage disposals, range w/hood, ceiling fan and mini blinds in all your windows are included in every home. Better yet, ALL HOMES INCLUDE WASHER/DRYER CONNECTIONS! No need to carry your laundry anywhere. But if you don’t have a washer & dryer, Country View does have a community laundry care center available.

Other apartment & community features include carpet/tile flooring, 14-hour emergency maintenance, and a management team that cares!

Special Promotions and Prices Subject to Change.

Contact us today to schedule your personal tour, and find out why Our Residents Love calling Country View home!

Country View brochure                 3 bedrom flyer                                           2 bedroom flyer

Amber Duggar
Property Manager
Country View Apartments
Phone:  765-349-2000
Fax:  765-349-9764

Tanneberger begins succession as new SCI REMC CEO

CEO Greg McKelfresh to retire after 42 years of service

Greg McKelfresh

MARTINSVILLE — James Tanneberger is stepping into the role of President and Chief Executive Officer for South Central Indiana REMC (SCI REMC) in September and will work with outgoing CEO Greg McKelfresh, who retires in January 2018 after 42 years of working at the cooperative.

Tanneberger comes to SCI from College Station, Texas, where he was Division Manager for Transmission, Substation, and Engineering at Bryan Texas Utilities. A third-generation public power worker, James is a licensed professional engineer, with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from University of Houston.

           Tanneberger addresses employees

“I look forward to addressing the challenges facing SCI REMC and am committed to providing the best possible value to its members,” he said.

Tanneberger was selected by the cooperative’s Board of Directors after thorough succession planning and a comprehensive search process.

“We truly believe he will be a great leader for our cooperative,” commented Bruce Hamlin, Chairman of SCI REMC’s Board of Directors. “Although we are saddened to say goodbye to Greg and his experience and foresight, we are confident in the co-op’s future by his successor.”

About Tanneberger

James Tanneberger

James Tanneberger is a third-generation public power worker. He received a bachelor’s of science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1998 and an MBA from University of Houston in 2007. A licensed professional engineer, Tanneberger brings a diverse set of experience having worked at small, mid-sized, and large public and investor-owned power providers. His most recent role was Division Manager, Transmission, Substation, and Engineering at Bryan Texas Utilities. Tanneberger enjoys building strong personal and professional relationships and firmly believes in the strength of the cooperative spirit. He and his wife, Laurel, moved to Martinsville, Indiana, from College Station, Texas, along with their three children, Wendy (10), Lincoln (7), and Alice (3). Besides spending time with his family, Tanneberger was involved at his local church, and likes hunting, fishing, running, and weight lifting.



SCI REMC is a member-owned cooperative electric distribution facility. A cooperative is a business owned by its customers, known as members. SCI REMC is one of 38 rural electric cooperatives in Indiana. Electric cooperatives were organized throughout the state in the 1930s. At that time, investor-owned utilities were supplying power in urban areas, but would not supply electric power to rural customers. This was common across the country at this time in history. People living in rural areas saw that those in cities had electricity, and wanted it as well. As a result, with loans from the Rural Electrification Administration, rural communities banded together and created electric cooperatives. Hoosiers 78 years ago in Morgan, Monroe, Owen, Brown and parts of Putnam, Clay and Johnson counties, pooled their money, and set poles and tied lines by hand to bring electricity to rural South Central Indiana.